On April 23, 2014 Jame Cole, Deputy Attorney General of the United States, announced a new “Clemency Initiative.”  The Justice Department and White House will use a new set of criteria when considering clemency petitions from federal prisoners.  The new criteria will help the Justice Department identify federal prisoners who, if sentenced today under current sentencing laws and policies, would likely have received a substantially lower sentence.

In order to expedite the process a new team of lawyers will be taking over the Office of the Pardon Attorney within the Department of Justice and the new team is going to expedite clemency applications for President Obama’s consideration.

The new initiative is aimed at inmates who meet the following criteria:

  1. Presently serving time in federal prison.  (Inmates in state prison are ineligible).
  2. Would have received a lesser sentence if current sentencing rules had been in place when they were sentenced way back when.
  3. No significant ties to gangs, cartels, or mafia families.  “Low-level” offenders
  4. No significant criminal history.
  5. Record of good conduct while in prison.
  6. No history of violence prior to, or during, prison stay.
  7. Must have already served 10 years of prison sentence.

Clemency Project 2014, a working group composed of the Federal Defenders, the American Civil Liberties Union, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the American Bar Association, and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, as well as individuals active within those organizations, wholeheartedly supports Cole’s announcement and the Justice Department’s plans to restore the integrity of the clemency process.

The pending changes are the latest step in an ongoing effort called “Smart on Crime,” which also seeks to remedy the once common wide disparity in sentences handed down over powder versus crack cocaine, based on guidelines first enacted by Congress more than 25 years ago.

With these new rules more federal prisoners serving sentences for nonviolent crimes can apply for clemency.  Phoenix, AZ defense attorney, Dwane Cates can help you with your clemency case.  The attorneys at the Cates & Garvey Law Group, PLLC can help you with the new rules regarding clemency.  Our defense attorneys have extensive experience representing individuals seeking clemency.

While Clemency Project 2014 will focus on those cases that clearly fit the broad criteria described by Deputy Attorney General Cole, the groups stress that there are many other federal prisoners whose sentences are grossly disproportionate to the crimes for which they were convicted.  The groups will continue to urge the Department of Justice and President Obama to vastly expand use of the Clemency power to correct widespread injustice.  Similarly, each organization participating in the Project supports legislative action to curtail sentencing laws that continue to cause unjust sentences.

If you have been convicted of a felony and or a federal offense, you are likely ineligible to expunge your record.  The appropriate course of action is to petition for clemency.  Our clemency attorneys will discuss what offense you need Clemency or a Pardon for and determine the best strategy for accomplishing your goals.  Our attorneys will speak to you, the prosecutors, and anyone else involved with your case to compile a professional and persuasive petition on your behalf.

Clemency is the ultimate second chance, where the state’s highest officials recognize that someone has turned their life around.  As a clemency lawyer, Dwane Cates helps people who have had a prior felony conviction obtain ‘mercy’ from the Arizona governor and Cabinet so they can get their civil rights restored.  With this new “Clemency Initiative” more people will be able to get their civil rights restored.

Arizona clemency attorney Dwane Cates has years of experience of representing those charged with criminal offenses and helping them rebuild their reputation through sealing of records, expungements and executive clemency.  Mr. Cates and his experienced criminal clemency legal team have been successful in seeking clemency for many clients.  Our law firm prepares a compelling clemency petition with supporting documents designed to maximize our clients’ chance at success.

The Governor has sole discretion to decide whether to grant a clemency petition.  Our criminal clemency lawyers will assist you in identifying and gathering the most compelling evidence of your achievements and other evidence supporting mitigation.  We will also help you provide persuasive evidence regarding the positive changes in your lifestyle, and the hardships your criminal record has created.

Many attorneys are excited about The “Clemency Initiative” and what it will accomplish. Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of Virginia Michael Nachmanoff said: “Federal defenders have advocated for reform of the criminal justice system for many years, and we wholeheartedly endorse the President’s commitment to lowering the sentences of prisoners who are serving unduly harsh sentences through the clemency process.  In recent years, federal defenders have assisted thousands of defendants to reunite with their families through the crack retroactivity process, and we are eager to work with the other organizations affiliated with the Clemency Project 2014 to help many others serving unfair sentences that would not be imposed today.”

If your loved one is currently a prisoner serving a sentence for a non violent crime and you think he or she is eligible for clemency contact attorney Dwane Cates today for a free initial consultation and to get you the help you need to get your loved one his or her civil rights back.  Contact our office today at (602) 296-3434.


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